The first rule of Moon Fight Club, is simple. Don’t tell anyone about Moon flight club!
OK, I’m just kidding — I couldn’t refuse opening with a joke.
Apparently, NASA has set a whole new set of moonshot rules.
The illustrious space agency has released a set of guidelines for its Artemis moon-landing program, based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and other agreements, The Indian Express reported.
So far, eight countries have signed these so-called Artemis Accords.
Among the top rules: No fighting and littering. And no trespassing at historic lunar landmarks like Apollo 11’s Tranquility Base.
Founding members include the US, Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said he expects more countries to join the effort to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024, The Indian Express reported.
It promises to be the largest coalition for a human spaceflight program in history, according to Bridenstine, and is expected to pave the way for eventual Mars expeditions.
It’s important not only to travel to the moon “with our astronauts, but that we bring with us our values,” noted NASA’s acting chief for international and interagency relations, Mike Gold.
Rule No. 1: Everyone must come in peace. Other rules:
- Secrecy is banned, and all launched objects need to be identified and registered;
- All members agree to pitch in with astronaut emergencies;
- Space systems must be universal so everyone’s equipment is compatible, and scientific data must be shared;
- Historic sites must be preserved, and any resulting space junk must be properly disposed;
- Rovers and other spacecraft cannot have their missions jeopardized by others getting too close;
- No Barry Manilow music! (Just kidding).
Violators could be asked to leave, according to Bridenstine.
The coalition can say, “Look, you’re in this program with the rest of us, but you’re not playing by the same rules,” Bridenstine said.
The US is the only country to put humans on the moon: 12 men from 1969 through 1972, The Indian Express reported.
Russia is still on the fence, of course.
The country’s space agency chief, Dmitry Rogozin, said at an International Astronautical Congress virtual meeting that the Artemis program is US-centric and he would prefer a model of cooperation akin to the International Space Station, The Indian Express reported.
China, meanwhile, is out altogether.
NASA is prohibited under law, at least for now, from signing any bilateral agreements with China.
However, they are looking at putting their own man on the moon’s south pole “within the next 10 years,” (2029–2030).